Blessed is any news so we thank DeMar DeRozan and Tim Leiweke, who both took different steps to get the headlines on this weeks’ Rapcast, which sees Andrew, Will and myself usher in the final week of August.

Part 1

  • DeMar DeRozan makes Team USA
  • What’s his role on the team?
  • Canada Basketball future
  • Is Wiggins the type who’ll play for his country?

Part 2

  • Tim Leiweke leaves MLSE
  • His legacy – what he did well and what he did hilarious
  • Article referenced in the Globe and Mail National Post

Part 3

  • Analysis of Love/Wiggins trade

Grab the iTunes feed or check us out on Stitcher on Android. There is also the plain old feed. You can also download the file (36:51, 35 MB). Or just listen below:

  • ckh26

    Guys I am struck by your Canadian disease of seeing the negative rather than the positive.

    Point in case A. Demar has through hard work and talent has made the best basketball team in the world. Yes there were some injuries and other circumstances that saw some of the biggest names in USA basket ball not show to camp. However there are 450 ? pro players and Demar has surfaced as one of the 12 the best team took. Expecting louder cheers from the crew rather than a bigger slant on why this is a seemingly suboptimal choice. He doesn’t have brother in law Duke status from Coach K as did Irving over Wall / Lilliard or Plumlee over a host of others. Give the man his due.

    Point in case B. Anthony Bennett eval. Guy got hurt. Likely couldn’t work out to stay in shape and has a body type that adds weight rather easily. Sort of like a lot of us. Comes back and is not in the pecking order in Irving or Waiters pass options and kinda looks lost. This summer he sheds the weight, amps up the aggression factor in summer league and is able to get away from whats going to be a media circus in Cleveland albeit on a very good team. Watch for Bennett to get his minutes in Minny and post a double double average. So what you say ? You’d cream yourself in JV put that up in year 2 of his development.

    • arsenalist

      DeMar’s getting enough props from here and elsewhere. Everything about him has been positive this summer – from working on his game to making Team USA. That doesn’t change the situation that if Kevin Durant and Paul George were available, he’d have a lesser chance of making the team. Nobody is slating him and everybody is excited that he’s going to be working with Coach K and gain valuable experience here (discussed on last pod). In the hopes of remaining objective, we have to point out the injury/unavailability situation with Team USA and how it affected DeRozan’s selection.

      • ckh26

        The “slating” of Demar as a response is a couple of degrees of magnitude higher than I imagined was warranted for the observation of what I perceived (and still do) as a negative to neutral slant during the podcast on Demar’s inclusion to Team USA. It is the summer and I dial up the Republic far less than during the pre and regular season so I have likely missed the “atta-boys” Demar has been picking up on your other weekly ‘casts..

        Still there can’t be enough positives for this guy at any level. He busts his arse all year long to keep fit and improve facets of his game, mentors the newbies when the come to LA and shows them what hard work actually is in practice as opposed to just mouthing platitudes, he fits in a little charity work in the off season, keeps his nose clean and out of the tabloids and has matured into someone the Raps should use even more extensively to enhance their brand at the expense of the Leafs. You can slate those smug entitled yahoo’s as much as you like. They deserve every sylable of it. Demar on the other hand has earned teflon rights. Give him his due at each and every opportunity.

        After all…we could have drafted ass muppet emeritus Brandon Jennings.

      • truth be told

        If KD or George had of been available, we wouldn’t have a lesser chance….he just would not have made the team. He was competing with Hayward, Parsons and Korver for that final swing spot.

        • Trini

          Uhh I take it you didn’t watch the scrimmage where George was tossing up brick after brick. If he hadn’t got injured, there’s still no guarantees he would have made the team. At this point in their careers, Derozan is a better and more consistent offensive player than George.

    • DDayLewis

      From the article on the main page about DeMar DeRozan’s inclusion on Team USA:

      “As an aside, I’d like to use this space to congratulate DeRozan. While I’m breaking the erudite code of being an impartial journalist, I think it’s important to take account of how far DeRozan has come. After seeing him struggle through his first four mostly uninspired seasons, I was among the doubters. Never would I have thought that within a year’s time, DeRozan would qualify for both the All-Star team and Team USA. He certainly still has his flaws, and for long-time watchers of DeRozan like myself, we’ve been conditioned to count his flaws and see him for what he’s not, but in looking back, DeRozan has surpassed even the loftiest of expectations. Lots of players talk the talk about hard work and being committed to improving. DeRozan has actually gone out and done so. Speaking as a fan, that’s the type of attitude and leadership I want on the Raptors. Congrats again, DeMar!”

      Not ball-washy enough?

      • ckh26

        Clearly ball washy enough…
        I have not dialed in to RR news of the world for a while and missed that piece.

        • DDayLewis

          That’s totally understandable. But if that’s the case, why frame our commentary as too critical to DeMar?

          • ckh26

            Listened in this morning and just thought the tone/delivery was on the backhanded compliment side towards DD. To many times TO sports doesn’t see what they have until its pointed out to them by non tdot centric media what a player they have.

            • DDayLewis

              Just curious, what are some notable examples of this? My general impression is that local media tends to overvalue the local product.

              • ckh26

                Examples are usually found in the Rogers centre with the Jays. Right now the herd is on Jose Bautista wanting to trade him out of town for a bag of balls. Robbie Alomar left under less than stellar circumstances after his spitting incident with an umpire and we dumped perrenial 20 game winner Chris Carpenter to the Cardinals after it was deemed he was a no talent bum with no upside. In the ACC Larry Murphy got run out of town as a no talent defenseman and he wound up in Detroit with two Stanley Cups. Before he turned to coaching Leafs first rounder Randy Carlye got dumped to Pittsburgh where he won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman a year or two later.

                • DDayLewis

                  The people wanting to run Bautista out of town for fictitious personality issues are morons. I think you can find examples of this in every city, however. For example, you could call the city of Pittsburgh morons for giving up on Baustita. The same for the Reds and Encarnacion. Or Houston for Lowry.

                • ckh26

                  And that we can both agree on is the essence of sports. The never ending good natured arguments on multi- faceted subjective topics. The best team ever (are the Russell / Havlicek Celtics better than the Magic Johnson / Kareem Showtime Lakers). The best player you ever saw play or heard about play ( Bobby Orr vs Wayne Gretzky vs Mario Lemieux vs Rocket Richard).
                  Is Demar getting enough love in Toronto for what he has done. … and the beat goes on.

                • DDayLewis

                  That’s why you and I are here. Cool chat.

                • truth be told

                  What has he done?

                  1 all-star appearance? A spot on the USA team after how many injuries, rest options and so forth for the real league stars? Countless ill advised volume shooting?

                • ckh26

                  Yes one all star appearance. His first. There will be more.
                  On the TEAM USA front.. didn’t they cut John Wall , Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard ? Wall and Beal according to several pundits are the BEST backcourt in basketball. Lilliard led Portland to the 2nd round of the playoffs in the West. Yet that slug Demar beat em all out.

                • LuckyMystery

                  sorry bud, but your commentary gets more and more ridiculous with each post

                • ckh26

                  Thats it ? With your points countered all you have left to come back with is to call someone ridiculous because they don’t agree with you ?

                • LuckyMystery

                  First off you never countered a single point I made. I was clearly pointing out that your examples of players being undervalued by fans, other than Larry Murphy were not correct.

                  Fans never lost faith in Alomar, and most certainly didn’t get shipped out of town on less than stellar circumstances that you mentioned.

                  This entire comment section, is literally you arguing a point, that you have admitted to not really having any knowledge of. (the amount of praise heaped upon Derozan) Than you start this argument about Bennett, and compare him to JV. Claiming that Bennett would average a double double this year, and we could only hope JV would produce at that clip. It was pointed out to you that JV’s per 36 would easily make him a double double threat, and he averaged 11 and almost 9.

                  Than you changed your prediction about Bennett and claimed you would come back here and gloat if he averaged the same numbers as JV.

                  Right now man, no GM in the league would trade JV for Bennett and it’s not even close. We are all pulling for the Canadian kid, but there is no proof yet that just because he worked out in the summer, that it will improve his actual skills on the court.

                  Talking about how Toronto is the only sports city that has traded players before they became good. Like no other city has ever made a trade.

                • ckh26

                  First off you never countered a single point I made. I was clearly pointing out that your examples of players being undervalued by fans, other than Larry Murphy were not correct.
                  ===> Sure if you say so. Lets add Thomas Steen and Brad Boyes to the list of guys who left TO to become far better players than anyone thought they could be in the Big Smoke.

                  Fans never lost faith in Alomar, and most certainly didn’t get shipped out of town on less than stellar circumstances that you mentioned.
                  ===> Not many tears shed at the then Skydome when robbie “took the money” and went to Baltimore. Mostly thoughts of him being an ungrateful sob and hes not as good as he thinks he is.

                  This entire comment section, is literally you arguing a point, that you have admitted to not really having any knowledge of. (the amount of praise heaped upon Derozan) Than you start this argument about Bennett, and compare him to JV. Claiming that Bennett would average a double double this year, and we could only hope JV would produce at that clip. It was pointed out to you that JV’s per 36 would easily make him a double double threat, and he averaged 11 and almost 9.
                  ===> Your rambling here. Whats your point ?

                  Than you changed your prediction about Bennett and claimed you would come back here and gloat if he averaged the same numbers as JV.
                  ===> Good natured banter with DDL. Willing to say I am wrong if Bennett has another sub par year. Willing to say I told you so to DDL if he has a break out year. Whats it to you ?

                  Right now man, no GM in the league would trade JV for Bennett and it’s not even close. We are all pulling for the Canadian kid, but there is no proof yet that just because he worked out in the summer, that it will improve his actual skills on the court.
                  ===> Agree. I think I said that. That we would know if Bennett produces in 6 or 7 months. I don’t recall ever proposing a JV for Bennett trade. Read your material before you start writing.

                  Talking about how Toronto is the only sports city that has traded players before they became good. Like no other city has ever made a trade.

                  ===> DDL asked about Toronto examples. I put out a couple I could think of to support my point and can think of a few more (Rask / Steen / Boyes) I agree with you that all sports franchises make trades or cut players they regret. It just seems on balance that Toronto seems to be weighted heavily towards the gaffe type moves rather than finding gems. We did fleece Calgary for Doug Gilmour and Vancourver for Rick Vaive and Pittsburgh for Jose Bautista but on balance we have let far more guys go.

                • LuckyMystery

                  If you just ignore every that is point made, and swing things to favor only your argument than a conversation is impossible to have.

                  You seriously think Jays fans didn’t like Alomar. You are talking about players before they left town. But now you change your argument to the feelings of the fan base after Alomar left.

                  Toronto fans at the time that Rask was traded had no idea what they had so they obviously had no feelings towards him before he was dealt, same goes with Steen, same goes with Boyes, who never even became a good player . One 40 goal season does make not a good career. (Hello Jon Cheechoo)

                  No one is arguing that Toronto has traded players that have gone on to do better in other locales, but this is the most generalized topic you could come up with over the entire toronto sports landscape, teams in every city in every sport have made trades that they wish they hadn’t, you can’t just name 5 or 6 guys and claim that Toronto does it more often than other cities.

                  Again other than that, you just change your point to suit your argument, so this conversation will just keep going in circles

                • LuckyMystery

                  You know Roberto Alomar played for the Orioles when he spat on an Ump right. He left because the owners weren’t offering him the same money as other teams

                  Larry Murphy for whatever reason just didn’t fit the system, no different from Jason Smyth. Slow moving defensmen weren’t what they wanted at that time.

                  Chris Carpenter was coming off a season of injury and was offered a minor league deal by the Jays. He had 1 good season as a Jay, and he missed the entire season after he signed with the Cards. No one was forcing him out of town.

        • truss76

          So you basically acknowledge not reading the site while slamming them for not giving DeMar props?

          Good pod guys.

    • DDayLewis

      Anthony Bennett had one of the worst rookie seasons ever last season. He did have injury concerns, but at this point, it’s more likely that he’s bad, than it is likely that he’s good. I’m pulling for the kid, but the odds are really stacked against him.

      And Jonas Valanciunas averaged 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season. Had he played regular starter minutes (ie: ~36 mpg), he would have easily posted a double-double. There’s no need to hope with Jonas on that one.

      • ckh26

        No one plays well when they’re hurt or even slightly hurting . Lebron had cramps during the finals and just shut it down.Couldn’t go.
        Bennett had his rotator cuff operated on before the season which means he couldn’t lift his arm over his head for at least 10 to 14 weeks. It takes a while to get right and he let himself go on the wieght and conditioning side. So what we saw last year was a pettty uneven performance from him..
        Kids a pantload down low and he has something to prove. Watch for him this year.
        Agree to disagree on his goodness or badness but if he averages 11 and 9 this year I will take the oppty to gloat. :-)

        • DDayLewis

          I could go to the casino and put all my money on 13, but if I win, that doesn’t mean I made a smart decision.

          • ckh26

            Your stretching on the logic parameters there DDL. Where winning on “13” or RED at the roulette table is a binary outcome on win/ lose the substance of Bennetts improvement will be seen in and injury free start which will lead to more minutes played and an improved PER. Bennett is unlikely to be named to the east conf all star roster this year but the likelihood of him improving to a 11 ppg and 9 reb is pretty good when he gets 25 mins a game.

            • DDayLewis

              My point is that it’s about process, not necessarily results. I think your premise — that being Bennett was dogged by injury concerns that are unlikely to reappear — is flawed as a basis for him improving to produce at a 11 point, 9 rebound per-game rate next season.

              • ckh26

                I believe sports is more about results than process. Coaches get fired and players get cut or traded for poor results not bad process. Last year Bennetts results were indeed poor. The mitigating factor for last years poor results can be linked to the rotator cuff surgery and the subsequent poor conditioning Bennett began the season with. This year hopefully he will begin the season without that injury. That combined with a year of experience, better conditioning and the talent that made him a top tier draft pick in his draft year will yield far better results. Nothing flawed in that from my point of view.

                • DDayLewis

                  Sure, but we’re talking about our respective processes right now, not in the sports world in general.

                  Nope, but the assumption that the removal of all those factors leads to a 11&9 player is too big of a leap to take, in my opinion. Why? Because even though he was injured, I don’t think it explains every aspect of his incredibly shitty rookie year. Plus he didn’t have top-pick rookie pedigree, and Cleveland surprised everyone with their choice.

                • ckh26

                  We will find out in about 6 or 7 months.

                • DDayLewis

                  Let’s hope you’re right. I’d like to see Bennett improve, if nothing more than because he’s a Canadian.

              • Wes mantooth

                I think your logic based on if you struggle as a rookie you’re finished in the nba. Isn’t that wheat you said? He’ll most likely be bad. There’s a lot more logic on the other side.
                He looks like a completely different person. Everything was stache against him last year.
                You’re just hating for the sake of hating.

                • DDayLewis

                  That’s not my argument. You must be misinterpreting.

      • Wes mantooth

        Why is it more likely he’ll be bad??
        What do you know??
        The kid never had a training camp! And was dealing with being a “bust” from day 1 with the pressure of number 1 pick.
        He’s big he can shoot and has skills. He also looked good in summer league.
        If anything he has no pressure now and will excel.
        So negative

        • DDayLewis

          Look through the history of NBA players and find someone with *that* poor of a rookie season who went on to be a star.

          Nothing is exact, but even with all those mitigating factors, the fact is Bennett was really really awful, and he doesn’t carry the best of draft profiles. He was slated to be a 9-10th pick in a really weak draft. Sure, he’s talented, but the number of talented dudes who never did much in the NBA is huge.

          I wish the kid all the best, and I want to see him succeed, but the odds are against him.

          • Wes mantooth

            Fair enough. But nba history also shoes that rookies that don’t get a training camp before they’re first season almost always struggle.
            The jury is still out on this kid. Nobody really knows anything except that when healthy this summer he looked pretty damn promising. I think this guy will end up being a David west type. I see great potential, with a huge astricks next to his rookie season. Val struggled his rookie season cause he was hurt and demar was nothing to be excited about until 2 years ago.
            Hard work is an example that works.
            I personally would love Bennett to be a raptor the wolves are lucky to have him.

            • DDayLewis

              The jury is out on him. But on one hand, we have one year of him stinking up the joint. On the other, we have his injuries. It all comes down to how much you want to attribute A to B. I’m of the belief that him being terrible can’t all be explained by his injuries, and it reflects partially on the likelihood that he just might not be very good. You clearly think almost all his struggles were due to injuries. That’s cool, no one is certainly right or wrong.

              • Wes mantooth

                The jury isn’t out. I’m saying due to his injuries and the first overall pick pressure and the fact that he didn’t even have a training camp no one really knows what he’s gonna be.
                I saw him look like a totally different player in summer league. Body type confidence and all.
                We’ll see mid season

  • Roarque

    If I was a Minny fan then I’d be pretty darned excited about what was happening to my team.
    If I was a Cavs fan then I’d be kicking myself for not re upping my season’s tickets for 2014/15.
    If I was a Sixers fan then I’d be learning the blue line offside rule.

  • Greg

    Good podcast, you guys gave me a good laugh when you were talking about Drake.

    • DDayLewis

      Thanks for listening, Greg.